Twins 4, Rangers 3: Twins win on walk-off error

This is how we doooo it! (THIS IS HOW WE DO IT!) Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la - Hannah Foslien

It was the Twins-iest win of them all.

Entering the bottom of the ninth inning with a one-run deficit, the Twins were able to rally against the Rangers for a four to three win thanks to an RBI single by Eduardo Nunez and a run-scoring error by Rangers pitcher Joakim Soria. That's really what happened.

Oswaldo Arcia had a big game tonight in his second game back as a Twin. After the Rangers' Donnie Murphy and Rougned Odor knocked in two runs in the top of the second, Oswaldo led off the bottom of the inning with a moon-shot off old-friend Scott Baker. Baker was making a spot-start for the Rangers in place of injured ace Yu Darvish, much to the dismay of many pregame ticket-buyers. Arcia almost homered again in the ninth inning, but had to settle for a double and eventually scoring the game-tying run.

The Twins' second run of the game was the most shocking. In the bottom of the third, with Brian Dozier on second, Joe Mauer (sit down for this one) SWUNG at the FIRST PITCH and PULLED THE BALL for a HIT. The ball fell in for a double, Joe's sixth of the year.

Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes, who has been by far the strongest in the rotation, turned in his seventh-straight quality start. Hughes gave up three earned runs over his seven innings pitched, but earned the no-decision thanks to an RBI fly ball in the sixth inning by Ranger Chris Gimenez that put the Rangers ahead three to two.

Leading up to the ninth inning, the Twins mounted several rallies that failed, which would have sucked if the Twins lost made this win feel extra deserved. Down one run with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Oswaldo Arcia doubled, followed by Josh Willingham striking out. Thankfully, the Twins have Eduardo Nunez, who belted out a single to score Oswaldo and tie up the game.

Please play the following video as you read the rest of the game recap, for maximum effect.

With Eduardo Nunez at first, Kurt Suzuki reached on what was scored a "fielder's choice", except Nunez actually reached third and none of the runners were out. Adriane Beltre decided to do this instead of throw to first for the third and final out of the inning. (Thank GOD that dreadful replay does not apply to those types of plays!) Joakim Soria then intentionally walked mega-ultra Twins hitter Joe Mauer Eduardo Escobar to fill the bases. Danny Santana came to the plate and guess what happened next? BOOM--Joakim Soria drops the ball and the Twins win on the walk-off error.

Notes

  • Aaron Hicks came through with a web gem to rob Daniel Murphy of a home run in the top of the second.
  • Danny Santana--who pinch-hit for Hicks in the eighth inning and played center field for the ninth--came through with the not-so-web-gemy play. (To his credit, Santana isn't actually a center fielder, let alone an outfielder, so...)
  • Twins starter Phil Hughes has now pitched to 175 batters without issuing a walk--second only to Twins-great Brad Radke's strech of facing 191 batters without issuing a walk back in 2005.
  • Within 30 seconds of Eduardo Nunez's game-tying hit in the bottom of the ninth, former twin Ben Revere hit his first major league home run. Revere had the longest current home run drought in the majors at 1,466 home-run less at-bats, which is also one of the longest all time.
  • Before the game, Ron Gardenhire caught up with former Twins pitcher Scott Baker, who made the spot start for the Rangers.

ROLL CALL!

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